Peter Quantrill

Peter Quantrill  |  Mar 31, 2023  |  0 comments
This month we review: Dudok Quartet, Soloists/Orfeo Orch/Vashegyi, Cupertinos/Luis Toscano and Leonard Elschenbroich, Alexei Grynyuk.
Peter Quantrill  |  Mar 21, 2023  |  0 comments
An overlooked masterpiece of the mid-20th-century – but how Soviet, or even Russian, should the Third Quartet sound? Peter Quantrill listens back to its history on record

Alongside his Tenth Symphony, Shostakovich took special pride in the Third Quartet, in a way that most artists do, who have to think their latest piece is their best. More telling is the testimony of Fyodor Druzhinin, violist of the Beethoven Quartet at a much later period in the composer's life: 'Only once did I see Shostakovich visibly moved by his own music. We were rehearsing the Third Quartet… When we finished playing he sat quite still in silence like a wounded bird, tears streaming down his face. This was the only time I saw Shostakovich so open and defenceless.'

Peter Quantrill  |  Feb 27, 2023  |  0 comments
This month we review: Bavarian RSO/Sir Simon Rattle, La Serenissima/Adrian Chandler, Myriam Barbaux-Cohen and Regula Mühlemann/CHAARTS.
Peter Quantrill  |  Feb 03, 2023  |  0 comments
To focus on a few celebrated solo recordings is to miss the bigger picture of a complete musician, says Peter Quantrill, paying tribute to a cellist who played for Queen Victoria

Fifty years after his death, it is worth remembering that Pablo Casals was the first celebrity cellist of the modern age. What Paganini had done for the violin, and then Clara Schumann and Liszt for the piano – making a viable career out of touring as a solo virtuoso, as singers had done – it took Casals until the turn of the 19th-20th century. Yet he commissioned very little for his instrument, and then abruptly ceased that solo career at its zenith.

Peter Quantrill  |  Jan 27, 2023  |  0 comments
This month we review: Igor Levit, Leipzig Orch/Welser-Möst, Ian Bostridge/Lars Vogt, Il Pomo d'Oro/Emelyanychev and BBC CO/Bramwell Tovey.
Peter Quantrill  |  Jan 17, 2023  |  0 comments
'The Bat' has charmed audiences for almost 150 years, but does the fizz stay fresh or fall flat on record? Peter Quantrill raises a glass to the ultimate New Year's operetta

Johann Strauss's third operetta was an instant hit when it opened at the Theater an der Wien in April 1874. Austria had suffered a stock-market crash the previous year and audiences were in the mood to rinse away their troubles with buckets of sekt and a slice of escapist nostalgia. Strauss set to work and sketched the whole operetta in six weeks, boiling down a typical, if confused-looking, medley of German farce, French vaudeville (the original story by Meilhac and Halévy) and Viennese adaptation.

Peter Quantrill  |  Dec 29, 2022  |  0 comments
This month we review: Chorwerk Ruhr, Bochum So/Huber, Helgath, Hofman, Alber, Talich Quartet, Quatuor Hermès, Kadouch, Luzzati, et al and Anna Fedorova, Orch St Gallen/Modestas Pitrenas.
Peter Quantrill  |  Dec 27, 2022  |  0 comments
From walking sticks to sliced bread... the Ninth has been used to sell everything, not to mention cultural identities. Peter Quantrill returns to a landmark of the repertoire

We associate 'cultural cringe' with the reluctant debt felt by Australians towards 'the old country' (the UK), but the term easily fits the rapture shown by the New York public in December 1893 after the hotly awaited premiere of what was greeted as 'the first American symphony'. Department stores began selling 'Antonín Dvořák' shirts, ties and walking sticks. Becoming a brand does not seem entirely to have bemused this butcher's son from Bohemia.

Peter Quantrill  |  Nov 29, 2022  |  0 comments
This month we review: Latvian Radio Choir/Sigvards Klava, LPO/Jurowski, B'Rock Orchestra/Jacobs and Beauty Farm.
Peter Quantrill  |  Nov 25, 2022  |  0 comments
As an ensemble that defined the sound of quartet playing in the digital age nears retirement, Peter Quantrill explores a legacy from Purcell to Prokofiev and beyond

In October 2023 the Emerson Quartet will take to the stage of Alice Tully Hall in New York. They will fiddle with the music on their stands, as they do. Their eyes will meet, their heads will lift a fraction and they will lay bow to string together for the very last time.